How the Sexual Revolution Took All the Fun out of Heterosexuality

How the Sexual Revolution Took All the Fun out of Heterosexuality

Posted By Brunette Republican Sex Kitten On August 4, 2007

I've been rereading Jane Austen of late, and I find myself noticing something her era – and, in fact, most eras in history before this one – had that ours doesn't: a healthy attitude towards heterosexuality.

Although I don't practice it myself, I am completely in favor of heterosexuality. Obviously, none of us would even be here if it weren't for heterosexuality. And nature provided that, since the species needs it, most of us will enjoy it. And by the by, I'm not simply talking about the reproductive act here. As far as I can tell, straight men and women genuinely enjoy each other's company, and their differences. Heterosexuality is a good thing for civilization.

There has never been a culture that did not have marriage. Feminist revisionist historians have tried to depict marriage as a "comfortable concentration camp" (in Betty Friedan’s famous phrase) in which women were imprisoned by men who really preferred the company of highly educated courtesans or athletic teenage boys. Well, Carolyn LaGraglia (Domestic Tranquility) did a good job of debunking that myth, as well as the myth that before the 1960's, women didn't enjoy sex. Every generation believes that it was the first to discover sex and pities those innocents who begat them with nary a thrill. (Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners, pointed out, "There has never been a better excuse for the wild life than that it is an understandable, if not justified, reaction against being repressed by parents. Never mind that this was the same excuse used by those parents and their parents before them – it's so good an explanation that it has been passed down in some families for generations.") Statistics show that married people are generally happier than unmarried ones, and that heterosexual marriage is the best thing for most people.

When we think of it today, we tend to think of parents and other authority figures in bygone eras as the sworn enemies of heterosexuality. Those mean old parents were always chaperoning their youngsters so they couldn't have sex, forcing them to marry people they didn't like, etc. What they forget is Regency parents setting up parties whose chief purpose was for their unmarried offspring to dance with and talk to members of the opposite sex so that grandchildren could ensue. Parents in the antebellum South did the same thing; remember that barbecue with Scarlett O'Hara sitting under a tree surrounded by young men? And they also did this in Victorian England. And in the 50's, though by then it was high school dances the grownups arranged just so the teenagers could practice their heterosexuality skills. And earlier. And probably throughout human history. Yeah, there were always duennas hanging around to prevent the young people from having sex before they got married, but nonetheless the atmosphere seems to have been a profoundly favorable one.

I'm pointing all this out because we don't have this attitude today. We have acquired a deeply neurotic attitude toward heterosexuality.

For one thing, heterosexuality is anti-feminist, and feminism is "in" nowadays. I'm not going to qualify this and claim that heterosexuality isn't really antifeminist. If you think that feminism means that women ought to have the right to own property and not be forced by their families to marry men they don't like, then I suppose it isn't. But since American women have had those rights for a very long time and feminists are still shrieking that this is a sexist patriarchal society, one can only conclude that that is not what feminist means.

In the 60's, some especially deranged women started declaring that "The only real feminist is a Lesbian." In The Femme Mystique, one essayist tells us of an ironic incident in the 60's, when a butch Lesbian who owned a Lesbian bar told her, "I hate feminists." That bulldyke had good instincts. Real Lesbians had been following their own inclinations for decades, braving arrest, institutionalization, and ostracism for it. Suddenly straight feminists stomped in wearing construction workers' boots, declared themselves to be Lesbians because they hated men rather than because they loved women, and started telling the actual Lesbians how to be dykes.

These ersatz Lesbians were correct about one thing: their objectives were totally inconsistent with heterosexuality. Heterosexuality pretty much requires admitting that men and women are different, and more than that, being glad about it. I don't think that most feminists' problem with it has much to do with not wanting to be tyrannized by some bully just because he has a penis. My grandmothers weren't feminists, nor did they have the dubious benefits of Women's Lib, but my grandfathers certainly didn't tyrannize them. No, I think the real objection most feminists have is that they are, remember, liberals, and liberals can't grasp the concept of considering other people. Being married, or having any other kind of serious relationship, involves a good bit of yielding to the other person – for all concerned – and sometimes letting the other have their own way. Liberals are so fixated on their own "authentic self" and "personal identity" that ever restraining themselves is abhorrent to them. (This, by the way, is why liberals are still abusive parents and teachers despite their allergy to authority. They won't teach children that manners or hard work are necessary, but they will throw a tantrum if the children don't cater to their neuroses.) Guess what? Marriage isn't going to happen without it, and since over 90% of women are straight, that means it's heterosexual commitment that won't be successfully happening.

Heterosexuality is a very powerful force. There is no known cure. So what feminism has spawned is millions of women who have the urge to practice heterosexuality yet have been convinced that everything involved in it is terrible and that they should instead want "independence" and "fulfilment" (things very few men have ever had, let alone women). Just yesterday I came across yet another tedious essay on how the "male gaze" was making TV shows a hostile environment for women. This has led to a bipolar attitude. The last time I bothered to read an issue of Glamour magazine, some years back, most of the magazine was, of course, articles about how to make yourself beautiful or sexy or thin, and advertisements for products that will help with this. But the lead article was about sexual harassment, and chronicled the so-called "harassment" a few women endured for one week. None of them were physically touched, nor did any man make any crude proposals. However, they contended they were "harassed" constantly because men stared at them in public places. Think about that: most of the magazine was about ways to get men to look at women, and the main article was complaining that they do.

So feminism is one problem. The other is the Sexual Revolution. In the bad old days when women were oppressed, they had the absolute right to say no to sex. Nowadays, the attitude is different. It isn't just the permissiveness; there's also a huge amount of pressure on people to have sex. There seems to be an assumption that this is actually an obligation. Think that over again: in the dark oppressive days before the Sexual Revolution, women were obliged to have sex with their husbands. In today's enlightened society, they are obliged to have sex with the men – or teenage boys – they go to the movies with. Men who are not supporting them, protecting them, at least pretending to be faithful to them, possibly not even buying the tickets. In Scream, to cite just one example, the teenage heroine talks about how patient and saintly her boyfriend is for putting up with her unreasonable refusal to have sex with him, referring to herself scornfully as "sexually anorexic".

Back when women were not expected to have sex with men they weren’t married to, the “male gaze”, flirting, and compliments were affirmation women could enjoy. A whistle or a wolfish look was a request for something the man and woman both knew he wasn’t going to get. It was safe. With modern pressure to have extramarital sex, women feel on some level that they are “obliged” to come across, and responding to flirting with anything other than hostility could be considered leading the man on. The Sexual Revolution has made male appreciation a threat instead of a compliment.

So what heterosexuality has become is a recreational activity that career women squeeze in between their vitally important pursuits of data entry, running a cash register, or selling real estate. It's become something feminist-inclined women and "liberated" men deplore even as they engage in it, because there is no way around the fact that it is impossible to practice heterosexuality without to some degree violating the tenets of feminism, especially since many straight women subconsciously believe that "the only real feminist is a Lesbian" and feel guilty for wanting a man around at all.

And for the young, the situation is even bleaker. I find myself envying the cheerful interest in the opposite sex displayed by teenagers in old books or movies. In fact, I'm always given a jolt every time a mother in a classic novel is actually happy to see a young man looking at her daughter. Nowadays, parents who care about their children at all have to face the fact that given the cultural climate, if their teenagers are allowed out of the house, the odds are excellent that they will have sex. Even apart from the psychological damage of sex without commitment and at a too-young age, damage that liberals insist does not exist, there's also the uncompromising danger of pregnancy or disease. This means that parents who care have to view every date with the utmost suspicion. Is this boy going to make their daughter a mother at 15? Is this girl going to give their son his first VD before he even goes to college? At an age when young people ought to be exploring the delight of having two sexes in the world and finding the person they will spend their lives with, their parents have instead to do whatever they can to discourage any attraction they see because of where it may lead, or else press condoms and pills on their children so that they will not suffer too much from their folly.

Then there's the misguided type of parents who caused this situation to begin with. They're encouraging their teenagers or college-age kids to have casual sex; if we're lucky, they'll convince them to take precautions. They're encouraging their daughters to try to turn themselves into imitation men so that, instead of being enslaved to marriage and motherhood, they can achieve the immense privilege of spending their lives pushing paper across a desk while strangers being paid minimum wage raise their children and Burger King cooks their dinner.

All the fun's been taken out of heterosexuality. If it weren't such a powerful force in human nature, the species would be dying out.

Article printed from MND: News and Commentary Since 2001:

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